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Sturgeon says she will focus on case for independence as UK ‘not serving Wales, Scotland, NI’

09 May 2022 4 minutes Read
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon with SNP candidates and supporters at the Glasgow City Council count. Picture by Jane Barlow / PA Wire

Nicola Sturgeon has said her Government will soon start refreshing the “very positive case” for Scottish independence, as she insisted recent election results showed there is a “growing sense that the UK in its current state is not serving the needs of Scotland. Wales, or Northern Ireland”.

The Scottish First Minister spoke out after Sinn Fein won the most seats, 27 out of 90, in last week’s Stormont elections.

This entitles Sinn Fein to have one of its representatives take up the post of First Minister there – which would be the first time a non-unionist politician has held Northern Ireland’s top post.

Meanwhile, local government elections in Scotland saw the SNP emerge again as the winners, with Ms Sturgeon’s party securing more seats on councils than any other party.

While Ms Sturgeon stressed there were “different factors at play” in the elections in Scotland and Northern Ireland, she claimed it was now “obviously the case that there are very big fundamental questions being asked in every part of the UK, about UK governance in the years ahead”.

She added: “I think there’s a growing sense that the UK in its current state is not serving the needs of Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland or perhaps even England appropriately.

“And I think we will see big changes in the years to come and I’m convinced one of those changes will be Scottish independence.”

‘Near future’

She congratulated Sinn Fein, which supports a united Ireland, on its success, with Ms Sturgeon saying: “For them to become the largest party in Northern Ireland is, as you know, a development of truly historic proportions.”

But she also stressed the importance of parties at Stormont “coming together, working together”, and getting the Northern Irish Executive up and running again.

The Scottish First Minister and SNP leader hailed her own party’s success in the local elections as “astonishing”, saying it was “really quite something” to have such a result after 15 years in power in Edinburgh.

Ms Sturgeon insisted a mandate for a second independence referendum had been won in the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections, which saw the SNP and the pro-independence Scottish Greens win a majority of seats at Holyrood, with both parties pledging to have a vote on the issue in this parliamentary term.

Ms Sturgeon noted that both the SNP and the Greens had increased their share of the vote in last week’s council elections, as she said work towards a second referendum would continue.

Asked for when a Bill for a future independence referendum could be brought before the Scottish Parliament, the First Minister said she would “set that out in due course”.

Any such legislation, however, is almost certain to face legal challenge from the UK Government, who are opposed to the holding of such a vote.

Ms Sturgeon also said her Government would start to set out white papers for independence “in the very near future”.

It has been almost a decade since the previous independence white paper, which contained more than 700 pages, was published, with the First Minister promising the new paper would be “refreshing” and put the “very positive case for independence”.

‘Change the record’

However, Pamela Nash, chief executive of the pro-UK campaign group, Scotland in Union, said: “The problem for the SNP is that the positive case for leaving the UK doesn’t exist.

“As part of the UK we can pool and share resources and risk, ensuring we can invest more in our NHS, schools and local services, while helping businesses to grow and create jobs.

“Rather than building barriers between friends and families, Scotland’s best days are ahead of us if we work to bring communities together – not tear them apart.

“Nicola Sturgeon should change the record and focus on what really matters to people.”


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Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
13 days ago

There is no doubt the UK needs to be dissolved and the individual countries seeking their own future. There is no reason why those countries can not continue to work extremely closely as we share the same isles but Westminster influence has to end – for our children’s sake.

Mick Tems
Mick Tems
13 days ago

Very well said, Saint Nicola! Basically, it’s NOT the UK – it’s England, controlled by the English far-right tory nationalists. It’s only a matter of time for Scotland and The North Of Ireland to break away, closely followed by Wales. Taste the freedom and the choice to govern ourselves, and ourselves only!

Adrian Meagher
Adrian Meagher
13 days ago
Reply to  Mick Tems

I’m not sure who controls England, but if it is English far-right Tory nationalists how come St George’s Day is not a bank holiday in England? Seems more likely that it is British nationalists of some kind who refuse to countenance Gwyl Dewi or St George’s day as bank holidays in Cymru or Lloegr, respectively. Not “British” enough, obviously!

Cynan
Cynan
13 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Meagher

The English far right are One Nation Tories. They want to rid our lands of our own nationhood in favour of a “Great.British.Identity” tied in with the ambitions of their Norman aristocratic masters. Although this is kept on the down low, this identity is closely tied up with the one they invented for England.
Also Saint’s days are a Roman Catholic thing. The Aristocratic elite are trying to replace them with Great.British.Holidays like (most recently) the queen’s jubilee day, the articles of Union day, Thatcher’s Birthday and random WWII days.

Glen Darslag
Glen Darslag
13 days ago
Reply to  Mick Tems

Funny how Wales only polls 20% for Independence. Scotland only 45% – and they lost the last referendum.

And Welsh Nationalists on the whole don’t understand the Good Friday agreement and Northern Ireland beyond cowardly worship of the ‘RA.

Pricey
Pricey
13 days ago
Reply to  Glen Darslag

“cowardly”?

Cynan
Cynan
13 days ago
Reply to  Glen Darslag

If you look at the Daily Mail polls yes. ACTUALLY CREDIBLE polls have us around 35-40% with another 20% indy-curious. You can guarantee that with a referendum that figure would definitely rise. Well a credible statistician would guarantee that, not you.
But you keep quoting your made up numbers and we’ll do what we want thanks, Len G Gladrags

Last edited 13 days ago by Cynan
Glen Darslag
Glen Darslag
12 days ago
Reply to  Cynan

I don’t see any Daily Mail polls here.

The last one was in connection with Barn.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Welsh_independence

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
8 days ago
Reply to  Glen Darslag

And where exactly is your evidence to say that Welsh Nationalist don’t understand The Good Friday agreeme?As for your childish comment about The RA there was violence on all sides during The Troubles.

Last edited 8 days ago by Johnny Gamble

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